Friday, July 17, 2009

Week 1 - Day 5

So my group is known as the cherry group because that is the only thing we have seen this week. Cherries cherries cherries. Any more cherries and I will go insane. We have probably spent two days of just cherry work. My favorite day so far this week was when we went to the cherry orchard and picked 3 thousand pounds of cherries. Yesterday was one of my least favorite days because we went the homeless shelter and there were 2,402 flies flying around and I probably assassinated 48 of them.

A.J. Flanigan

As the week winds down I am now finding the time to actually blog, after slight prompting. Well what can I say about this week? The most obvious answer to me is it was quite an experience. We have spent the week working at a little old lady’s house replacing a bathroom. At first I was quite daunted by the task. We looked at the old tub full of orangey brown sediment from years of dripping well water, an orange tinted shower that was once white, and a sink that shared the same fate. Our client didn’t even drink the water, only bathing and cooking with it. Once I got over all that I had seen, the task seemed quite manageable, but as the week moved all sorts of delays and unexpected work required before we could actually start prevented the work. Although it is a 2-week site, we hoped to replace the toilet, convert the shower corner to shelving, and replace the old tub with a stand up shower. Unfortunately due to time restraints we only got the shelves, toilet, and base work for the shower finished. Also, the effort that I did not take part in on my site was the yard work. In the back the weeds and dry grass came all the way up to the house, which was a fire hazard. So our team cleared a good 10 feet of weeds along a 30-foot house, and created a garden area. At the end of the week I felt disappointed in myself because of all we didn’t accomplish, but as I looked at what we had done and reflected on the difference created, I felt that I actually had made a difference in this nice old lady’s life. She was so sweet, and appreciated us so much that she even made us cupcakes, necklaces, and bought us soda to drink. What a week.
In terms of the experience, and not the actual work, this week has been far different from almost any other. Time here moves so slowly, it’s almost like you are on a foreign planet. It seems like leaving that parking lot a week ago was months ago, and yet I can’t believe the week is already almost over. You can’t get this kind of feeling in any other manner. To me it is a feeling of purpose and meaning in the world. To truly do God’s work, and profoundly impact another’s life through your actions is like nothing else. Program director Sean said at the beginning of the week, “Some people think they are out to change the whole world on mission, but it doesn’t quite work that way.” In response to this I believe that I am not changing the whole world, but instead I am changing the world of the people I encounter in my ministry. On mission there is always a few things; hard work, good friends, great memories, and the presence of the Lord. This week I have most certainly encountered all of these. This week has been brutal with the hard work and triple digit temperatures, but to me the rewards far outweigh the struggle.

Matt Carter

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